Leveraging Geofencing For Enhancing Real-Time Asset Visibility and Decision Support

Asset-intensive organisations will typically have high-value assets on the move – whether mining or manufacturing equipment or end-products travelling in containers or pallets by ship, truck, or rail. Moving these items from location to location, through the hands of multiple stakeholders, is a logistically challenging task.

This challenge is further magnified for organisations operating moving assets through territories with difficult terrain or emerging infrastructure, tracking items in just-in-time production or lean manufacturing environments, or transporting assets that are sensitive to their environment such as temperature, humidity or vibration. Unexpected delays can cause downtime, damage, violation of service contracts, or breaches to regulatory compliance.

Organisations need to know where all these assets are along the way as well as any deviations from the plan – as it happens. There are a number of real-time location systems (RTLS) and technologies that can be put to work to solve these issues, however today we want to examine the concept of ‘geofencing’ and how it can be used to enhance these systems to improve real-time asset visibility and decision-making.

What Is Geofencing And How Does It Work?

Geofencing is the practice of defining a geographic area using coordinates (i.e. latitude and longitude) to establish a virtual boundary or perimeter around an area of interest.

These virtual areas or boundaries (geofences) are then used by RTLS tags on assets as reference areas – to determine asset position data and trigger pre-programmed actions such as recording of tag coordinates in a database (like assetDNA) or the sending of an alert by txt or app notification when a tag is inside, outside, or crosses a boundary. This data also provides the foundation for deeper insights into how long an asset spent at a location, time in transit, the speed at which they were travelling, and deviations from the expected plan or route.

Different tagging technologies can be used in conjunction with geofencing methods such as Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Wi-Fi or 3G and or 4G cellular transceivers. Cellular is becoming an increasingly attractive option versus traditional GPS-based solutions, for even though GPS tends to be highly-accurate, it has proven to be extremely battery-draining and not ideal for real-time asset tracking applications that require multi-year battery life.

The Benefits

There are different ways an organisation can use geofencing to enhance real-time asset tracking:

Heightened Visibility – With a geofence enabled, you can identify when assets enter, cross or leave a defined area, how long they spent in an area, the speed at which they were travelling and how they behaved. This enables organisations to measure and compare productivity, optimise availability, identify underutilised assets and more.

Asset Security – Geofencing can help monitor assets activity in secure areas and trigger alerts when movement or behaviour deviates from the plan.

Compliance – Geofencing can help identify and respond to compliance breaches through chain-of-custody processes and supply chains.

Quite simply, the data can help organisations better measure what is going on in real-time, react faster to situations requiring immediate attention, and make more-informed decisions about asset productivity, utilisation and business process optimisation.

Relegen Has Proven Experience Deploying Real-Time Asset Visibility Applications

In today’s globally competitive environment, solutions that provide real-time data and insight through complete asset lifecycles are critical for OEM’s, suppliers, transport providers, and ultimately end-users and consumers. Relegen stands ready to help your investigations into which technologies are best suited for your business or project application. Our cloud-enabled enterprise asset intelligence platform – assetDNA – is hardware agnostic and works with a wide-range of RTLS tracking technologies to meet the needs of your unique business application. Tags can be also written to, read, and field data captured, with our new relegenDNA Mobile application for iOS. We have proven industry experience enhancing RTLS applications with geofencing as well as optimising GPS, Wi-Fi and cellular tracking technologies for reliability, location accuracy and long battery life. To learn more, please reach out to us via sales@relegen.com or +61 (0)2 9998 9000.